I can hear murmurs around me. My eyes are still closed. I force them open and I see that I’m not in my room. I get up feeling oddly light. Almost like I’m out of my own body. I am surrounded by my family and friends. For a second, I find it weird. I try to recall what had happened last night. Or before I fell asleep.
An image of me hanging from a fan, with the help of a rope, flashes through my mind. I had committed suicide on 2nd April 2017. Why? I couldn’t hold myself from not doing it anymore. Everything inside my head, everything was telling me that it’s the best thing if I kill myself. I look back to where I got up from and see my body, lying in a casket. My body looks paler.
All of this is a lot to take in. I wake and I’m surrounded by my family and friends and my body is lying in a casket. Oh, My God, I’m attending my funeral ceremony. I mean, I can see everything that is happening. It’s like I’m here, to witness everything, but I’m not here, as in, nobody can see me.
I see my parents sitting in the front row. They look sad. I feel guilty for being selfish. I see my brother beside them. It looks like he’s trying to stop himself from crying. I see Thea, my best friend, sitting on a bench at the back. She isn’t even looking up. I cannot see her eyes but I know she is crying. I feel really sad bad and feel like going and hugging her but I can’t. I remember. All through the time I suffered, she told me that it would get better. She was the one who kept me going on for more than two years. She had told me that if I ever killed myself, she would die too. I love her a lot and I have disappointed her too. I left her alone for my own reasons. I am a coward who chose this. I call her name, hoping that she could hear me. She looks up suddenly, searching around for someone. I hope she can feel my presence. I see her tear stained eyes. I can feel a throbbing pain in my heart. I hate myself for making her go through this. I go and sit beside her and give her hand a squeeze to assure her that I’m always gonna be around. Unfortunately, she can’t see me or feel my presence. I sit beside her as she sobs.
I can hear people talking in hushed voices and a song I absolutely love – heavy by Linkin Park, in the background. The sound is decreased to a volume where I can’t hear the words but the tune is clear enough. Suddenly, I hear Thea humming to the song as tears roll down her cheeks. She knew this song was my silent scream. It feels like a torture to be able to see my own funeral. To watch people cry on my death day. I have hurt people a lot. I was always a disappointment and even now, I’m the cause of pain to everyone.
I glance up, the casket is open. Apparently, everyone can see me for the last time. I don’t think it’s a pretty sight to see though. My fingers have turned blue and my skin has turned pale. My face looks dead and displeasing. It is as though all the flesh on my face is sucked in. My cheeks look empty and the area under my eyes are dark and wrinkly. I am wearing a pearl pink silk dress. I guess they got me dressed for my last day. I am wearing a white pearl necklace and diamond studded earrings. I think, why’d they want to bury these away. I look horrible, even with the jewels on me.
On each side of the casket, two candles were placed. The casket is decorated with white and pearl pink flowers. They always told me that pink looked good on my skin. Seeing myself in a casket, was pleasing to my eyes somehow but I still knew that after today, I probably won’t see any of the people who have gathered here today. It’s my time to say goodbye. I take one last look at Thea, who’s now having her eyes closed and get up. I walk to my mother. She’s wearing a black dress. Very formal. I rest my head on her lap. I don’t know if she can feel it. This is my only chance. Tears blur my vision and I find it really confusing as I always thought that you couldn’t cry after death. I know that I never bonded with her but just the thought that I’ll never see her again, makes me feel sick in my stomach. It is really weird that I can feel all these things after my death. The fact that she will have to spend her entire life knowing that her daughter killed herself, makes me hate my actions. I’m such a disgrace. I then get up and sit beside my father. I rest my head on his shoulder, wishing that somehow he could feel my presence. My father. I got my emotions from him. How I felt so deeply, just like he does. I hurt him a lot while I was alive. My mother used to tell me that he would stay up crying certain nights when my words would get to him. I was such a pain. Instead of walking me down the aisle, he’ll have to give a speech on my death day. I kiss his cheek and pray for his well being and get up. I go and sit in front of my brother. He is looking at his shoes. I can see the sadness in his eyes. We fought all the time and I always thought that he would be happier with me gone. Somehow, I knew he loved me a lot as he would always hold my hand while we crossed roads because he knew I wouldn’t care about the cars coming my way. I cannot imagine the amount of pain I’ve caused to him just because I was living in my own head. But I know I deserve death. I give him a kiss on his forehead, my goodbye to my brother and get up. I glance around to see who all were present at my funeral. I see some of my aunts and uncles. I see my great-grandmother. She is in a wheelchair. She is very old and I remember her joking around that she would die and I would cry a lot at her funeral because she knew how much I loved her. Instead of that happening, I see her hugging my elder cousin and crying. I feel an unpleasant feeling in my stomach. I run to her and wrap my arms around her. And when I don’t feel her hands wrap around me, I finally realise what I have lost. I had asked her to hold on for me. Stay a little longer for me. I had told her, “you have to stay until my wedding day and dance with me when I get married.” She had laughed at me that day and then I started crying because I was scared of losing her. I want someone to take her inside a different room so she doesn’t have to see my dead face. I turn away when I can’t see her sad anymore. Little did I know, sadness surrounds me. I see my grandfather sitting on the bench in the front, besides my grandmother. They have been to many funerals. I expect them to be habituated to it and not cry but there they are, crying and holding each other.
I just look at them with sadness and I feel my head spinning. I can’t take it anymore. This is so painful. Why do I have to go through this? I turn around when I hear a voice which was strangely familiar. I see Joyce. She is hugging my mother and telling her that everything will be alright. And then I realise, Joyce has travelled all the way from Lebanon, to attend my funeral. She is a really very strong girl. She was my internet best friend. To my parents, Thea was like their own daughter and Joyce was like an angel. They had only heard about her and seen her pictures because she lived in another country and we had never met before.
The priest walks to the front, near the casket and everyone takes a seat. “We are here to honour, Isabelle Beckett. She was a great daughter and a great friend. She empathised and cared for everyone. Her life may be over but she will live forever in our hearts. She was a brave little girl who felt too much. She fought for a very long time. But she lost the war to herself. We thank you, lord for the life of Isabelle, for her strength and love. Lord, we ask you to be with us today. And that you comfort her friends and her family. Amen”, he says. “Now, we are going to hear from Isabelle’s friends and family, a few words that they’d want to share. First, we are going to hear from, Isabelle’s great-grandmother”, he says as he points towards my great grandma.
My cousin pushes her wheelchair and brings her to the front. She places the flowers, she had brought, on my casket. Her hands are shaky. Her eyes are bloodshot red. Her face is really wrinkly and her skin is almost hanging out. She rubs her palms together and coughs a bit before she speaks. “My lovely great-grandchild was like my own daughter. I loved her very much and always will”, she says. She takes another deep breath and continues,” I remember when she was nine, I taught her how to knit. You see, girls that age didn’t want to learn how to knit, they liked to play with dolls. But Isabelle always knew how much I loved spending time with her so she chose to knit with me. I had some strength in my arms back then”, she smiles through her sadness. “Whenever she visited, she’d drop everything at the gate and run to give a hug to me. My baby. I know what she did was wrong but I think she was really brave and I will always love her and I hope to meet her, there in heaven, when I die”, she says as her eyes fill up again. Hearing her say that, I feel weak in my knees. She wipes her tears as my cousin pushes her wheelchair away.
He walks back to my casket and places one of his shirts on it. He then looks down and takes a few deep breaths. He was only two months elder to me. We were very close and I know it is hard for him to keep that ‘strong man’ act on. He isn’t crying but I can see that he is sad. I always thought he disliked me. “Isabelle was my gem. The one I always tried to protect. She was only two months younger than me and we shared a bond. Even after years, she always told me that I was her favourite cousin and I cared for her a little too much. We had drifted apart, well kind of, but I will always love her. Oh, My God, she was a true pain in the butt at times”, he says and everyone laughs. “Like this one time, she took my shirt away and never returned it. Also, she texted all my friends and got messages from them, and sat up all night to make me a birthday gift. She used to love books. And writing. She used to write sad things, always. I had scolded her many times. I had asked her if we weren’t keeping her happy. And looks like we weren’t. She didn’t say anything to me that day. She told me she was happy. She told me she was fine and they were just words. I wish I could’ve seen behind the lies. I wish I would’ve taken the right step. Oh, My God, I can’t believe she’s gone. I love you, Isabelle. And you’ll always be my little gem.”, he says this as tear rolls down his cheek. He lowers his face and wipes it away as he walks back to his seat. I want to tell him that it is not his fault and that I love him a lot.
My grandfather walks up to my casket next. He places the novel he has bought for me, on my casket. He tries to smile down at my body but he isn’t able to. It looked so lifeless and dead. Instead, a frown appears on his face. “This is not how my granddaughter looks. She did look a little thin but she looked beautiful, always. She was the brightest star in my galaxy. When she was born, it felt like things were finally falling into place. She was ‘a huge pain in the butt ‘ like her cousin said. She would always be wanting something new. She would somehow convince me of everything, even sending her for trips. I don’t know when I lost her. She cared a lot and even when she didn’t express it, I could see it in her eyes. Also, being the eldest kid in the family, she made sure she made it clear that she was my favourite and indeed she was. I have diabetes but when she made those cakes and sweets, I sneaked in some of those on my plate too. She was my little princess and always will be. I love her a lot, forever and always.” He is sobbing when he says this. I reach out to wipe his tears but to my misfortune, I can’t even do that.
My grandmother gets up next. She put her purse on her seat and brings along with her, a bracelet with my initials on it. It is made of gold. She doesn’t look like herself without her smile and those sparkles in her eyes. She looks up and says, “Isabelle was an angel. She was a little stubborn but she would always do things to make others happy. When she was a kid, I taught her for a long time until she could study for herself. She was a sharp kid and I never thought I’d lose her this way. I didn’t see this coming. I mean, she did look sad at times but she was a brave girl. She and I used to watch television together and cry together on the same things. And now, my brave girl is gone. The eldest mouse in my five mouses is now gone. I loved her a lot and always will. May God give her peace.” She is a very sensitive woman and starts crying. She starts crying louder and my grandfather comes and takes her to her seat.
My father comes next. He kneels in front of my body and kisses my forehead. My cold, pale forehead. He isn’t grossed out. He loves me too much to be grossed out. He whispers to me, “baby girl, I miss you.” He gets up and faces everyone. “My baby girl, I hope you are happy, wherever you are now. I couldn’t keep you happy enough so I lost you. I love you, Isabelle. I love you a lot, but maybe that wasn’t enough. You have given me memories of my entire lifetime. I remember you were my happy pill. When you were born, many people said that it should’ve been a son. I was happy that it was a daughter like you. I’m sorry if I ever made you feel like you weren’t enough. You always told me that you got the emotions from me, right? Being so sensitive, you got it from me, right? I’m sorry to make you so full of emotions that you couldn’t handle them anymore. But now I’m left here without my little baby who held my little finger and pulled me into the bright light. She somehow went into the darkness. I miss you very much baby girl. I’m sorry for everything.” Hearing him say that, makes something in my heart, snap. He is blaming himself when I am the one at fault. I regret this. Why do I have to see this? He is crying. He is in tears and like always, I am the reason behind it. I can’t do anything to make him feel better. He quickly wipes his tears. “I need to be strong”, he whispers to himself. He walks back to his seat and sits down. He motions for my mom to get up. She is shaking her head while she cries. He tells her that it is her last chance. She nods and gets up. She walks up to my casket and places her scarf there. “Wherever you are, please be fine.” She whispers. She gets up and looks around for a minute as though she is looking around for me. Then she starts speaking. “I have lost something so precious. No money can buy it. You were a part of me Isabelle and it honestly feels so empty without you. Yes, I told you that you weren’t enough but I didn’t realise you were more than enough until you left. I love you, Isabelle. I know, just by saying it, I can’t have you back. I wish it were that easy though. It’s like, I planted a tree fifteen years back and now I am watching the tree I grew so dearly, on the floor, chopped off by a saw. It’s horrifying. I can’t accept the fact that I’ll have to wake up every day and live with the fact that my daughter killed herself. It’s hard to accept that. I’ve failed you and I’ve failed everyone around here because I couldn’t be a good mother. I’m sorry Isabelle. I’m really very sorry”, she says that and breaks down. She hugs my casket and keeps crying and my dad has to come and take her to her seat. I wish I could tell her that it isn’t her mistake. I was a good for nothing and always will be.
Joyce walks to my casket next. She places a locket on the casket and smiles at me. She is a very strong. She says to me, “ look best friend, I could finally convince my parents to come and meet you. Couldn’t you have stayed with me? I mean, you always asked me to hold on, but now, you’re gone? It hurts to think that today is the first day I’m actually meeting you and today will be my last chance to meet you. I ’m hurt actually. I’m going to miss you. I can’t even explain how bad this is for me. You were my internet sister. You made me a better person and made me choose to do things I never would, like drinking milk. I swear, I won’t be able to down a glass of milk, without you being on my mind. Isabelle, I thought that you were strong. I can only imagine the pain you were going through, which made you quit. Wherever you go, I hope you find peace. I love you best friend. I really wish this hadn’t happened.” I feel extremely bad because I never got to meet her while I was Alive. I feel guilty. I watch her walk back to her seat and sit down beside her sister and rest her head on her arm and cry. She doesn’t cry in front of everyone but once she gets back to her seat, she starts crying. And then comes Thea’s turn. She is going to give the final speech at my funeral. I remember telling her that I wanted her to give the last speech at my funeral if I died before her. She gets up from her seat, sniffing. She takes a pen, a diary and a picture of her and I. It was the same pen I had used to write my suicide note with. I had written it to her. I had asked her to tell my parents I was sorry and apologised to her to leave her alone. Sometimes, sorries are not enough. She walks up to my casket and places the pen and our picture on it. She holds up the diary near my body’s face and says, “I was making this for your birthday. I won’t even be able to give it to you. Isabelle, I always told you this- you were the only one who I had. I could only count on you and only trust you.” She places the diary on my casket and gets up. she is fidgeting with a tissue paper as she tries to calm herself. She looked hurt. It looks like she is struggling to even stand. She probably the only one who hasn’t dressed up in a formal dress. She is wearing black jeans and a black hoodie I had given her. Her hair is left loose. She looks like a mess. I caused this to her, I think. She looks up in the sky for a minute and closes her eyes. She looks back to the people in front of her and says,”uh, I don’t even know how I’m supposed to do it. I had written a speech but I think I’m just going to speak whatever comes to my mind. So, Isabelle. Uh, you were my best friend. My soul sister. My other half. My everything. But, you know this already. And you also know how much I love you. And how I feared to lose you. Remember? I had begged you to just hold on for me? Remember I had asked you to not to kill yourself because you were all I had. Because you were probably the only person who didn’t make me feel like a burden or a useless person. Remember when I told you that if you killed yourself, I would kill myself too? Because I felt too helpless. Now with you gone, I can’t see a purpose for living. I feel alone. I feel like everything is over. It feels like my oxygen is sucked out of my lungs and I’m gasping for air but somehow I’m being choked. I swear I don’t even want to wake up to see tomorrow. I was always scared of this. When you told me that you were too tired and you couldn’t go on, I didn’t have anything to tell you that would make you feel better. I could only ask you to stay for me. And you told me that I made you happy but somehow I wasn’t enough. You ended up doing what you told me you wouldn’t. Life is shitty. Life is the worse thing without you. Unlike everyone here, I knew how you felt. It was truly suffocating. I would feel so helpless when I heard you, you were too strong to go on till now. I didn’t want you to leave Isabelle. You will always stay in my heart but I hate you for doing this to me. For doing this to yourself. I can’t believe I won’t be hearing your laughter again. Oh, My God, this all seems like a dream. Please come and shake me awake Isabelle. This nightmare is too much for me to handle. You wrote in your letter- “I am sure that things will be better without my overthinking head.” Guess what? Things have gotten worse since you’re gone. I don’t even eat anymore. I can’t spend a single night without crying. I feel like everything is over. The sadness that you once felt, I feel it now. You always thought that I’ll get used to it someday right? Guess what? I don’t even want to see that someday. I’d trade my life to be with you. What a disgrace, I couldn’t even make my best friend stay. I have lost you. I have lost what mattered the most to me. How do you expect me to be okay Isabelle? You’re gone. I love you, Isabelle. Please, tell me this isn’t true. Please come back. Please.” I can feel the tears streaming down my face. She is crying too and I can’t comfort her. She is blaming her and I want to tell her that it isn’t her fault that I killed my self. I hate myself for getting so close to her that now it hurts her that I’m gone. She is not worthless or useless. She deserves all the happiness in the world. Not me. A useless, broken, defeated girl. Her twin comes and takes her away from the casket and the priest comes back. He thanks everyone for coming and tells them that my soul is watching them and is thankful. They then decide to close the casket. They place the necklace, the pen, the bracelet, the diary, the novel, the picture, the flowers and everything else my relatives had placed on the casket, inside it and close the casket. Once the casket closes, I see myself fading. The me that is outside my body. I see my hands fade away as magic dust and mix with the breeze and slowly the rest of me is also disappearing. Another tear rolls down my cheek and I’m gone.